This past February my fiance Anthony and I went on an ‘engagement moon’ of sorts and traveled all around Thailand. Over the course of 3 weeks we played, explored, adventured, dined and saw every major site, waterfall, beach and city that we could possibly cram into our 20 day adventure.  We tuk-tuked around Bangkok, played with elephants in Chaing Mai, hopped on a flight, bus and boat just to walk the white beaches of Ko Samui and then we were off to scuba dive the crystal blue waters of Koh Tao. We moped-ed around Krabi, stayed in a bungalow off the beaten path in Ko Pi Pi and finished our epic trip in Phuket.

Thailand was more then just an amazing country to visit, it was beautiful, mesmerizing and all together epic. I knew before we set off on our adventure across the world that I wanted to do a photoshoot at some point on our trip. 

I kept my eyes out for a beautiful native woman to cross my path willing to wear my clothing and pose for my camera; every place we visited I would say to Anthony ‘God, I would LOVE to do a shoot here.. if only I had a model’ Anthony would joke that he would be my model if it came down to it. 

It wasn’t until the last few days of our trip that I met a red headed girl from Scotland who was willing to be my model! Melanie Long is a scuba dive master and instructor in Phuket and is also an underwater model. I always think of myself as ‘Ariel’ the mermaid, but Melanie’s copper locks gave me a run for my money!

Melanie took us to a local’s ‘secret beach’ spot in Phuket. I stood in the sand staring out at the ocean and I almost forgot where I was; the view into the distant horizon looked as though I was standing on a California coastline. It felt the same, (but with a few changes, of course), on Raleigh Beach, the water was crystal clear and it was warm like bath water, the sand was like millions of little pebbles massaging the souls of my feet. The sun placement was also different; setting behind the jungle of trees instead of on the water.

The biggest difference between my home beach in Laguna and the beaches in Thailand was the light. There was something so much different about the light in Thailand–it’s somehow warmer–it’s warmth almost envelops the island like a cozy blanket.  As you can tell from my lack of adequate description, this warmth is something indescribable, it can only be felt and experienced and I realized that I wanted to capture this warmth and take it home with me.

The impromptu beach shoot in Thailand was a magical way to end my travels; I photographed a true mermaid on one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, the last hour of the day, the last day of our trip.

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